Attorney Profiles

David M. McLaughlin


Partner — Redwood City


David McLaughlin is a partner in the Redwood City office and has been with the firm since January 1988. He has a diverse commercial litigation and trial practice which focuses on employment, product liability, intellectual property and real estate matters. He has won numerous jury trials and binding arbitrations, in addition to resolving many cases through mediation.

His practice experience includes counseling employers and executives, product manufacturers and distributors, restaurants, hotels, resorts, as well as law firms and their principals. His business and employment experience includes matters involving terminations, retaliation, discrimination, harassment, wage and hour, whistleblower claims, compensation and benefits, DOL audits, the Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), access to public accommodations, Unruh Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, unfair competition, contracts, trade secrets, intellectual property protection and misappropriation, defamation, fraud, and dispute resolution. He is involved in the corporate aspects of commercial strategies and has worked with clients in industries ranging from biotechnology, the Internet and cable television to automotive, real estate and hospitality.

Mr. McLaughlin obtained his B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1983 in Economics and his J.D. from Santa Clara University School of Law in 1987 where he was a member of the Moot Court Honors Board and an editor of the law school newspaper.  He is a Fellow of the Litigation Counsel of America.™ He has the highest peer rating (AV® Preeminent) by Martindale-Hubbell and has the highest possible rating in both Legal Ability & Ethical Standards reflecting the confidential opinions of members of the Bar and Judiciary. He also has been named by Northern California Super Lawyers® magazine.  Mr. McLaughlin is listed in A.M. Best Lawyers in the San Francisco Bay Area and named in Who's Who in American Law. He also has been selected as a Top Rated Lawyer in Labor & Employment in The American Lawyer & Corporate Counsel magazines.  He is a member the National Association of Distinguished Counsel, member of the Nation’s Top One Percent and also a member of the Redwood City Chamber of Commerce.  Mr. McLaughlin is an application reviewer and scorer for UCLA Freshman Alumni Scholarships.  He is a mentor with the UCLA Alumni Mentor Program and a Lifetime member of the Bruin Varsity Club. He serves on the Ropers Majeski Partner Selection Committee.

Mr. McLaughlin was born in Palo Alto, California and is married with three children.  He coached youths in soccer, basketball, baseball, and enjoys skiing, tennis, golf, and cooking.


  • Removal of Los Angeles Superior Court ERISA case to USDC, Central District and then obtained a nuisance settlement for a national electronic retail store chain.
  • Resolved a hostile work environment and retaliation case involving a CFO and a Napa Valley winery owned by a national luxury brand.
  • Resolved a religion discrimination case involving a director at a semi-conductor manufacturer and religion based comments made by the company president.
  • Obtained a dismissal of a California Attorney General complaint involving an alleged failure by a Disneyland area resort to follow the Corporation Code in connection with the sale of real property interests.
  • Resolved a disability discrimination, harassment, and retaliation case brought by an employee after the semi-conductor manufacturer/employer terminated his employment for performance reasons.
  • Specific performance based cash settlement in favor of the prospective real estate buyers after the sellers failed to close escrow.
  • Settled for $0 a disability discrimination case alleged by an obese private Boeing 737 jet pilot with sleep apnea against a Hollywood movie director and producer after the pilot’s termination.
  • Resolved a retaliation, wrongful termination in violation of public policy, failure to pay wages, and disability discrimination case involving an employee who worked for a scrap metal recycling business.
  • Resolved a trade secret theft case after an employee left the plaintiff’s company and went to work for the client who competes with the plaintiff.
  • After obtaining an order granting a demurrer on a writ of mandate and a writ of prohibition, involving a non-profit corporation selling a $2.6m parcel of real estate, client agreed to settle for a waiver of costs.
  • Resolved a whistle blower and retaliation case brought by a vice president against his employer/ semi-conductor company. The plaintiff alleged unethical and improper business and accounting practices involving revenue recognition.
  • In June 2016 Microsoft bought LinkedIn for $26.2 billion. In August 2016 LinkedIn filed a $3.8 million lawsuit against clients Professional Diversity Network (PDN) and the National Association of Professional Women (NAPW) in connection with an Internet advertising contract.  LinkedIn, PDN and NAPW are competitors in the professional-networking space and they are publicly traded.  Our defense of PDN and NAPW included assertion against LinkedIn of a cross-complaint for unfair competition, unfair business practices, and anti-trust violations.  The parties mediated the case and LinkedIn agreed to resolve it and dismiss its lawsuit.
  • Resolved a U.S. Department of Labor audit regarding wage and hour issues at a restaurant and beach resort.
  • Representation of a wind power/wind farm company in an action brought by an employee for whistleblowing and retaliation after the client terminated the employee.  The employee claimed he refused to sell scrap metal for cash.  Thereafter, the employee complained to OSHA regarding safety issues in connection with high a voltage accident on wind turbines.  The case settled for a nominal amount.
  • Won a retaliation, harassment, and CFRA case on a summary judgment motion. The client terminated an employee for cause the day he returned from his Family Rights leave.
  • Representation of a real estate investment trust that owns a large commercial property leased by Hobby Lobby. After presenting the client’s person most qualified for a deposition, we demanded and received a dismissal of the client with prejudice in exchange for a cost waiver.  Thereafter, we pursued the co-defendants on a cross-complaint and obtained a $75,000 reimbursement of our attorneys fees.
  • Represented Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, in a San Joaquin County Superior Court product liability case. A tire disablement event led to a rollover of a Ford F-150 pick-up truck on Highway 99. Plaintiff’s left arm was crushed.  Her passenger died from a head injury. Plaintiff’s medical expenses totaled $602,700. After a mediation, the Panish, Shea & Boyle plaintiff’s firm agreed to a settlement for plaintiff with Ford and Bridgestone.
  • Represented Kaspersky Lab, Inc. in a pregnancy and associational discrimination case.  The lesbian plaintiff announced to her supervisor her partner’s pregnancy and a week later her business development position was terminated.  Plaintiff sought a $427,344 settlement but accepted Kaspersky’s five figure nominal CCP Section 998 offer to compromise the day before the offer was to expire.
  • Represented an Internet based health care billing clearing house corporation in a disability discrimination, harassment, and failure to prevent discrimination and harassment case filed in Placer County which we transferred to Orange County Superior Court.  Plaintiff had a stroke which left her blind in the left eye.  The corporation terminated Plaintiff for performance reasons six months later.  The case resolved the week before trial.
  • Represented an Italian manufacturer of high end ceramic tiles in a Los Angeles County Superior Court case. Plaintiff claimed $300,000 in damages from an injury event and we settled for $5,000.
  • Represented Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC, in a product liability case filed in Tehama County Superior Court.  Plaintiff rolled her Ford F-250 on Highway 5 after a tire disablement event. She sustained multiple fractures, a de-gloved left hand, and lost the use of her crushed left arm primarily because of a brachial plexus avulsion nerve injury.  Plaintiff demanded $2.35 million. Bridgestone won key in limine motions on liability issues the week before trial, and the case resolved in the courthouse thereafter.
  • Represented a IRC Section 501c (3) political organization sued for sexual orientation harassment, discrimination, and retaliation brought by a African American lesbian woman employed by the client as the Director of Operations.  We made an $80,000 demand for fees and costs at the mediation and plaintiff demanded $400,000. Plaintiff resigned at the mediation. The employer paid $0 with Plaintiff releasing the employer and dismissing her claim.
  • Represented a national document and information management service provider in a race and sex discrimination claim filed with the EEOC in Oahu, Hawaii.  The employee/plaintiff demanded $300,000 and the case settled for $1,000.
  • Represented famed class action trial lawyer Fred Furth, The Furth Firm, Chalk Hill Estate Vineyard LLC and Chalk Hill Estate Winery LLC in a San Francisco Superior Court lawsuit brought by a terminated Furth associate lawyer.  The case arose from an email relating to a Wal-Mart wage and hour class action lawsuit wherein Furth won a $172 million jury verdict.  Furth received $52.5 million in attorney fees from Wal-Mart.  Plaintiff claimed wrongful termination, wrongful discipline, fraud, failure to pay wages, privacy rights violations, violation of Business and Professions Code Section 17200, and that she was entitled to $5 million from Furth because the email defamed her and ruined her reputation and career.  Since she worked on the Wal-Mart case, she claimed entitlement to a bonus in connection with the Wal-Mart jury verdict.  Furth cross-complained against the Plaintiff for repayment of a $75,000 loan.  After an appeal from the granting of a Furth Anti-SLAPP Motion, the case settled for $75,000 to Furth and $59,000 to Plaintiff.
  • Represented a Four Points by Sheraton Hotel and Suites property in South San Francisco. After his stay, a wheel chair bound disabled person sued the hotel for 19 Unruh Act Violations, treble damages/penalties and attorney fees, claiming denial of full and equal access to the facilities. The case settled for $8,000 with an agreed upon remediation plan.
  • A pharmacology vigilance company CFO had a six month intimate and sexual relationship with a business development subordinate. She sued for sexual harassment. The USDC Northern District case resolved for a nominal amount the day before Plaintiff's deposition.
  • Represented Mission Ranch, Inc., in an action filed by a housekeeper for wrongful termination in violation of public policy and retaliation, in Monterey County Superior Court and with the Labor Commissioner. She alleged unpaid meal and rest premiums and waiting time penalties.  After a two day trial with fifteen witnesses, the Labor Commission found in favor of the client and awarded the housekeeper nothing for her meal and rest period claims.  Thereafter, the housekeeper dismissed the claim and the Monterey County Superior Court entered a cost Judgment in favor of the client.
  • Represented Mission Ranch, Inc., in a wrongful termination and retaliation case arising from the termination of a restaurant server.  The Monterey County Superior Court granted Mission Ranch’s Summary Judgment Motion.  The Court entered a cost judgment in favor of the client.
  • Represented a fund administrator for the Northern California Carpenters Union in a disability action before the DFEH.  Plaintiff left work with a severe headache and the client terminated her a few days later.  Plaintiff had emergency surgery for a brain tumor that proved fatal three months later.  The case resolved at a DFEH mediation.
  • Represented Major League Baseball Hall of Fame player Willie Mays in an intellectual property matter.  A British company cyber squatted on the Internet domain name  Filed an action under common law before the World Intellectual Property Organization in Geneva, Switzerland to have the domain name transferred to Mr. Mays.  The case resolved with a transfer of the domain name to Mr. Mays in exchange for two autographed baseballs.
  • Represented a records management storage company in an action for disability discrimination filed by a deaf employee.  After the employer terminated the employee, the employee filed a DFEH claim for failure to accommodate, disability discrimination and wrongful termination.  We resolved the claim for $9,000.
  • Represented a nationally recognized plaintiff’s personal injury law firm in a wrongful termination, defamation and privacy rights violation action brought by a terminated associate attorney.  San Mateo County Superior Court granted an Anti-SLAPP special Motion to Strike portions of the complaint.  Filed a motion for attorneys fees as the prevailing party on the anti-SLAPP Motion to Strike.  The case settled for a nominal amount the week before the hearing on this Motion.
  • Represented the president of a chain of gyms in Los Angeles County when a operations manager sued him for male on male sexual harassment.  The president allegedly made hundreds of lurid, sexual and scatological crank calls.  The Plaintiff recorded the calls.  The case settled five days before trial in downtown LA Superior Court.
  • Represented Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations LLC in a death and catastrophic injury case involving two coordinated cases and six plaintiffs.  The El Dorado County Superior Court case involved a tire failure at high speed on a two lane highway that resulted in a head on collision.  One driver was killed instantly.  The case settled at a mediation.
  • Represented an employment services company in a pregnancy discrimination case.  Plaintiff was a superstar employee who announced that she was pregnant.  Two weeks later, she was placed on 30 days probation for production reasons and then was terminated near the end of the probation period.  The case resolved at mediation.
  • Represented Club Trinidad Resorts in Palm Springs when an African American employee claimed unpaid overtime wages, meals and rest period premiums, expense mileage reimbursement, unpaid wages, paycheck record violations and waiting time penalties.  The case settled for a nominal amount at mediation.
  • Represented Optimal Technologies International, Inc., a Barbados company now known as GRIDiant, in an employment case.  OTII/GRIDiant specializes in smart electric grid management and optimization software. The case arose from an employment contract with a $300,000 severance provision entered into by the CEO with his girlfriend, the Vice President of Marketing.  The investor (Goldman Sachs) and other officers did not have knowledge and did not consent to the contract.  After OTII terminated the CEO and his girlfriend, she sued for the severance, unpaid benefits and vacation pay.  The case resolved at mediation.
  • Represented an automobile club against age discrimination claims involving five employees.  The case settled at mediation.
  • Represented a Pacifica beach house owner after her neighbor recorded a new survey that placed her home inside the boundaries of the neighbor’s survey description.  The neighbor sued for encroachment, trespass and nuisance.  The case settled in the client’s favor with a Grant of Easement and Maintenance Agreement and Mutual Release which restored the land on the client side to the original boundaries, and also granted an ingress/egress easement over the neighbor’s land.  The outcome substantially reduced the size of the neighbor’s parcel due to the prior recording of the survey.
  • Represented Bridgestone Firestone entities in numerous tire and tread separation product liability and breach of warranty matters involving severe injuries and deaths.
  • Represented Bridgestone Industrial Products America, Inc. in a matter arising from the alleged defective manufacturing of marine fenders installed on a container vessel pier in the Port of Oakland.  The 65 huge rubber and steel marine fenders were built according to the Port of Oakland’s specifications.  The case resolved amicably after a mediation.
  • Represented the legendary rock band The Doobie Brothers regarding a dispute with Bill Graham Presents involving sound levels at the Paul Mason Mountain Winery in Saratoga, California.  The Doobie Brothers sound engineer and mixer had been banned from working the shows.
  • Represented a biotechnology/life sciences company - Applied Biosystems and Applera (now known as Life Technologies, Inc) - in trade secret and copyright protection matters involving DNA test kits and gene sequencing devices which use polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technology.  Quashed numerous subpoenas demanding trade secret and unpublished developmental validation information.  The cases were in State and Federal Court in Australia, Canada, Germany, South Africa, California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Kansas, Louisiana, Oregon, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, South Carolina, Washington and Washington D.C.
  • Assisted with writing the AmpFlSTR Identifier PCR Amplification Kit User’s Manual for Applied Biosystems.
  • Represented a supervisor defendant and a hotel in a sexual harassment and hostile work environment action.
  • Represented the employer in a Labor Code section 132(a) matter before the Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board. Claimant alleged she was terminated because of a disability arising from a work related injury.
  • Represented a non-profit company in a race and sex discrimination claim arising from employment termination.
  • Represented a national hotel chain in FEHA and Labor Commission, Department of Industrial Relations, claims for wrongful termination based on race discrimination, and for unpaid vacation pay and overtime wages.
  • Advised the president of a multi-billion dollar pharmaceutical company in a disability discrimination and wrongful termination action.  The case settled prior to the filing of a lawsuit.
  • Represented a car dealership in a wrongful termination action alleging a violation of public policy. Plaintiff claimed to be a whistleblower. The case ended in a successful settlement ten days before trial after a co-employee claimed that the plaintiff sexually assaulted her.
  • Constructive termination, sexual harassment and sexual assault case involving independent contractor and judicial estoppel issues.
  • Represented the leading national manufactured homes dealer in more than 30 California cases involving claims for product liability, breach of consumer warranties, breach of contract and unfair competition.  The trial of two cases in Santa Clara County Superior led to a jury verdict and Judgments in favor of the client.  After the Court awarded the client attorney fees in both cases, and the Judgments were pursued, the plaintiffs filed bankruptcy and the serial litigation against the client ceased.
  • Represented a large hotel in an action brought by two cooks working in South San Francisco alleging sexual harassment by an independent contractor for a national hotel chain.
  • Represented a retired United Airlines pilot sued by his lawyer for fraud, breach of contract and quantum meruit.  After a five week jury trial in San Mateo County Superior Court, a jury returned a verdict in favor of the pilot on all claims.
  • Represented a San Francisco Peninsula common interest condominium development and its board of directors in a breach of the covenants, conditions and restrictions, breach of contract, strict liability, negligence and nuisance action arising from persistent water infiltration and mold issues.  After a four week trial in San Mateo County Superior Court, the jury awarded the plaintiff nothing on all counts against the client.  The trial court awarded $150,000 in attorneys fees to the client and the case resolved with a payment of $90,000 to the client with an appeal pending.
  • Represented a hotel management company in a gender discrimination and wrongful termination case.
  • Represented L’Auberge de Sedona Hotel in Sedona, Arizona, in USDC, District of Arizona, in five cases over four years.  The cases each settled at early settlement conferences or with a summary judgment motion pending.
  • Represented a Los Angeles airport hotel, which was part of a national hotel chain, in an action involving wrongful termination in violation of public policy alleged in the context of Election Code violations, and a Petition for Referendum to repeal a local ordinance pertaining to hotel transient occupancy taxes. After an eleven day deposition of the plaintiff, the case resolved for a nominal amount.
  • Represented a product manufacturer in a strict product liability wrongful death lawsuit which settled before trial.
  • Represented defendant in an action alleging sexual harassment, hostile work environment and gender discrimination. Case was resolved in successful settlement.
  • Represented a national hotel chain in a Superior Court action wherein plaintiff alleged race, age, sex and disability discrimination (FEHA) arising from plaintiff’s termination.  The case successfully settled for the client.
  • Represented a national correction facility treatment provider and operator in a race discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation case. The case successfully settled prior to trial.
  • Represented a resort hotel in a wrongful termination action in violation of public policy alleged by hotel and resort food and beverage director. The matter was resolved and dismissed.
  • Represented an Indian health center in a civil rights, discrimination and wrongful termination action involving the Indian Preference Act.  The matter was resolved in mediation.
  • Represented a national hotel chain wherein a defendant employee demonstrated a fighting move on co-employee plaintiff and fractured his neck. Plaintiff asserted a claim for assault and battery and respondent superior liability against employer alleging that it knew defendant employee had a propensity for violence, and the employer ratified such behavior. Plaintiff claimed that the case fell outside the worker’s compensation exclusive remedy (serious and willful allegations eventually were dismissed).